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author:("Yap, see Peng")
1.  The diverse and complex roles of radiation on cancer treatment: therapeutic target and genome maintenance 
Cancer is a genetic disease, grows exponentially with the development of intrinsic and acquired treatment resistance. Past decade has witnessed a considerable progress towards the treatment and understanding of proposed hallmarks of cancer and together with advances in early detection and various treatment modalities. Radiation therapy is an integral part of cancer treatment armamentarium. In developed countries more than half of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy during their course of illness. Although radiation damages both cancer and normal cells, the goal of radiation therapy is to maximize the radiation dose to abnormal cancer cells while minimizing exposure to normal cells, which is adjacent to cancer cells or in the path of radiation. In recent years, life expectancy increases among cancer patients and this increase is due to the results of early diagnosis, screening efforts, improved treatments and with less late effects mostly secondary cancer development. Therefore, cancer survivorship issues have been gaining prominence in the area of radiation oncology research. Understanding the tradeoff between the expected decreases in normal tissue toxicity resulting from an improved radiation dose distribution to the targeted site is an increasingly pertinent, yet needed attention and research in the area of radiation oncology. In recent years, a number of potential molecular targets that involve either with radiation increased tumor cell killing or protecting normal cells have been identified. For clinical benefits, translating these findings to maximize the toxicity of radiation on tumor cells while safeguarding early or late normal cell toxicities using molecular targeted radioprotectors will be useful in radiation treatment.
PMCID: PMC3410581  PMID: 22860229
Cancer; radiation therapy; radioprotectors; normal genome maintenance
2.  Survival outcome of women with synchronous cancers of endometrium and ovary: a 10 year retrospective cohort study 
Journal of Gynecologic Oncology  2011;22(4):239-243.
Synchronous occurrence of endometrial and ovarian tumors is uncommon, and they affect less than 10% of women with endometrial or ovarian cancers. The aim of this study is to describe the epidemiological and clinical factors; and survival outcomes of women with these cancers.
This is a retrospective cohort study in a large tertiary institution in Singapore. The sample consists of women with endometrial and epithelial ovarian cancers followed up over a period of 10 years from 2000 to 2009. The epidemiological and clinical factors include age at diagnosis, histology types, grade and stage of disease.
A total of 75 patients with synchronous ovarian and endometrial cancers were identified. However, only 46 patients met the inclusion criteria. The median follow-up was 74 months. The incidence rate for synchronous cancer is 8.7% of all epithelial ovarian cancers and 4.9% of all endometrial cancers diagnosed over this time frame. Mean age at diagnosis was 47.3 years old. The most common presenting symptom was abnormal uterine bleeding (36.9%) and 73.9% had endometrioid histology for both endometrial and ovarian cancers. The majority of the women (78%) presented were at early stages of 1 and 2. There were 6 (13.6%) cases of recurrence and the 5 year cumulative survival rate was at 84%.
In our cohort, we found that majority of women afflicted with synchronous cancer of the endometrium and ovary were younger at age of diagnosis, had early stage of cancer and good survival.
PMCID: PMC3254842  PMID: 22247800
Endometrial cancer; Ovarian cancer; Synchronous cancer
3.  Weak expression of cyclooxygenase-2 is associated with poorer outcome in endemic nasopharyngeal carcinoma: analysis of data from randomized trial between radiation alone versus concurrent chemo-radiation (SQNP-01) 
Over-expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme has been reported in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). However, the prognostic significance of this has yet to be conclusively determined. Thus, from our randomized trial of radiation versus concurrent chemoradiation in endemic NPC, we analyzed a cohort of tumour samples collected from participants from one referral hospital.
58 out of 88 patients from this institution had samples available for analysis. COX-2 expression levels were stratified by immunohistochemistry, into negligible, weak, moderate and strong, and correlated with overall and disease specific survivals.
58% had negligible or weak COX-2 expression, while 14% and 28% had moderate and strong expression respectively. Weak COX-2 expression conferred a poorer median overall survival, 1.3 years for weak versus 6.3 years for negligible, 7.8 years, strong and not reached for moderate. There was a similar trend for disease specific survival.
Contrary to literature published on other malignancies, our findings seemed to indicate that over-expression of COX-2 confer a better prognosis in patients with endemic NPC. Larger studies are required to conclusively determine the significance of COX-2 expression in these patients.
PMCID: PMC2715417  PMID: 19591688

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